Child Protection Policy Updated 15th October 2015
Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy
This club believes that when dealing with children and vulnerable adults, their welfare should always be of paramount importance. We are committed to providing an environment where young people can learn and participate in a sport free from harassment and abuse. All those people working with children have a moral responsibility to safeguard and promote a child’s welfare.
This club has therefore adopted a Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy to ensure peace of mind for both adults and children”
The following terms are used throughout this document:
- Parents – Generic term to represent parents, carers and guardians
- Young People – Also refers to archers with disabilities and vulnerable adults
- Substantial Access – Being in a position of authority/influence when working with young people
- The Club – GOSPORT BOWMEN
1.0 The Policy Statement
This Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy is based upon the following three fundamental principles:
Whilst dealing with children and vulnerable adults, their welfare is paramount. A child is a young person under 18 years of age.
All children and young adults, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and/or sexual identity have the right to protection from abuse or neglect.
It is important the following guidance is adhered to:
The Gosport Bowmen have a responsibility to protect children and young people from abuse and neglect.
All incidents of suspicion, poor practice and allegations will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
Confidentiality will be upheld in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 2000.
It is the responsibility of the Child Protection Officer to determine whether or not abuse has taken place but it is everyone’s responsibility to report any concerns.
1.3 General Policy
No fewer than two adults must form the General Management of a Junior Club, one of whom must be a GNAS member. The names and addresses of these adults must be lodged with the County Association, and copies available to GNAS or valid authority upon request. The Club officials must notify the County Association of any changes to the Senior Management of the Junior Archery Club.
The normal shooting (meeting) times of the Junior Club must be made available to the HANTS AA. This does not preclude the club from arranging extra sessions as required.
The names, addresses and telephone contact numbers of all junior members of a club must be available at the club ground when the club are meeting.
Keep an accident book and record all injuries however slight, with details of any treatment given.
Obtain permission from parents to administer first aid treatment in the event of an accident.
Be aware of any medical conditions, which may affect a junior or disabled archer and any medication they require.
Clearly advise parents that they should be responsible for the care of their own child whilst that child participates in tournaments. Under no circumstances should the Tournament Organiser accept responsibility for the care of children.
Two adults (one of whom must be a GNAS member) must supervise juniors at all times whilst shooting. At no time should one adult take charge of a junior or group of juniors. The only instance where one adult may supervise a junior is in the parent/legal guardian and child relationship where GNAS Rules of Shooting apply.
Where there are only two adults who have taken the responsibility for supervising junior archers, who themselves wish to shoot during the same session, only one should shoot at any one time.
However, it is recommended that there are two adults fully available for supervising at all times.
It is recommended that the ratio of juniors to supervising adults never exceeds 12:1.
In the instance where a parent supervises their child, the responsibility for the care of that child would remain with the parent.
A parent should always accompany their children if they are under the age of 8 years. Any parent who brings along children 8 years of age or under, who are not their own children, the club must be made aware that those children remain in their care.
The club is to be aware of arrangements for the arrival and departure of junior members. In the event of an emergency or delay in collecting their child, ensure parents provide the club with emergency contact details.
Two adults are to arrive for a session ahead of time to avoid children being left alone. Likewise we do not depart until the last child has been collected.
All adults with substantial access to children will go through a screening process.
Coaches, assistants and officials are to keep up to date with technical skills and qualifications.
The club will offer support to those who report concerns regarding suspicions of abuse or poor practice.
2.0 Good Practice Guideline
Whenever Gosport Bowmen are responsible for the care or supervision of a young person, or where we are in a position of power or influence over a young person, we are in a relationship of trust. We will never do anything to abuse that trust.
2.1 Good Practice for Parents
Before you leave your child, ensure there is more than one responsible adult at the club/ organization who explicitly agrees to take the responsibility of the care of your child.
Arrange to deliver and collect your child in plenty of time.
Any concerns are to be brought to the attention of club members as soon as possible.
Ensure coaches/helpers are suitably qualified and all have been CRB checked.
Ensure the club offers regular training to staff and coaches.
Ensure the club have rules regarding arrangements for travelling to events.
Encourage your children to talk to you about their training and ensure that they know how to voice their concerns if they are not happy about any situations that may arise.
You are always encouraged to watch.
Ensure you are given opportunities to discuss matters with coaches and all involved.
Work with the club/coach/volunteer for the benefit of the child or young person. Be prepared to take coaching advice on your child’s psychological and physical archery needs.
2.2 Good Practice for Coaches/Volunteers/Officials
All club coaches/volunteers and officials working with young archers have a responsibility to demonstrate exemplary behaviour in order to protect themselves from false allegations. The following are examples of how the club strives to create a positive culture and climate:
Always working in an open environment (e.g. avoiding private or unobserved situations and encourage an open environment i.e. no secrets).
Treat all people with respect and dignity.
Always put the welfare of each young person first, before winning or achieving goals.
Maintain a safe and appropriate distance with young archers.
Obtain permission from parent’s to coach their child.
Young people of 16 or 17 years of age can legally consent to some types of sexual activity. Do not allow a sexual relationship to develop if it is within a Relationship of Trust.
Whilst coaching on a one-to-one basis ensure there is another adult present.
It is recommended that the ratio of juniors to supervising adults never exceeds 12:1.
Keep up to date with the technical skills, qualifications and insurance within archery.
Ensure that if mixed teams are taken away, an adult male and adult female member of staff should always accompany them.
Be an excellent role model – behave in an exemplary manner in the company of young people.
Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
Recognise the development needs and capacity of young people and disabled adults – avoid excessive training or competition and do not push them against their will.
Secure parental consent in writing to act in loco parentis, if the need arises to give permission for the administration of emergency first aid and/or other medical treatment
Work with the parents and be aware that all parties concerned have their own goals.
Keep a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given.
Request written consent from parents when young children need to be transported by coaches/ volunteers or officials.
Always adhere to the GNAS Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics.
Publicise a statement of zero tolerance of bullying.
2.3 Practices to be Avoided
The following should be avoided except in emergencies. If cases arise where these situations are unavoidable, they should only occur with the full knowledge and consent of someone in charge in the club or the child’s parents. For example, a child sustains an injury and needs to go to hospital, or a parent fails to arrive to pick up a child up at the end of session.
Do not spend excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.
Never take children alone on car journeys, unless in an emergency and then consult the parents first.
Never take children to your home where they will be alone with you.
2.4 Practice Never to be Sanctioned – We will never:
Strike a child.
Engage in rough, physical or sexually provocative games.
Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
Use profane, insulting, harassing or otherwise offensive language.
Allow children to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
Make sexually suggestive comments to a child, even in fun.
Reduce a child to tears as a form of control.
Allow allegations made by a child to go unchallenged, unrecorded or not acted upon.
Do things of a personal nature for children or disabled adults that they can do for themselves.
Intrude into the private life of a child.
Invite or allow children to stay with us at our home unsupervised.
Spend an excessive amount of time alone with one junior archer.
It may sometimes be necessary for staff or volunteers to do things of a personal nature for children, particularly if they are young or disabled. These tasks will only be carried out with the full understanding and consent of parents and the archers involved. There is a need to be responsive to a person’s reactions. If a person is not fully dependent, talk with him/her about what you are doing and give choices where possible. This is particularly so if there is physical contact, lifting or assisting a child to carry out particular activities. Avoid taking on the responsibility for tasks for which you are not appropriately trained.
2.5 Incidents Requiring Immediate Action
If any of the following occur it is to be reported this immediately to another colleague and record the incident. We will also ensure the parents of the child are informed.
If an archer is accidentally hurt
If he/she seems distressed in any manner
If an archer appears to be sexually aroused by any action
If an archer misunderstands or misinterprets something we have said or done
2.6 Recognition of Poor Practice
Poor practice includes any behaviour that contravenes the GNAS Rules, Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics and Coaching Manuals, which are constituted around the following three R’s (Rights, Responsibilities and Respect):
Rights – for example of the archer, the parent, the coach, the official etc.
Responsibilities – for example responsibility for the welfare of the archers, the sport, the profession of coaching, their own development.
Respect – for example of other archers, officials and their decisions, coaches and the GNAS Rules of Shooting.
2.7 Preventing Abuse of Position of Trust
This guidance is primarily intended to protect the following people where a relationship of trust with an adult exists:
Adult members who work with young people and vulnerable adults.
Young people over the age of sexual consent but under 18 years of age.
Young people of 16 or 17 years of age can legally consent to some types of sexual activity but they may still be relatively immature emotionally. It is essential that those who may be in a position of responsibility and trust recognise this vulnerability and ensure that it is not exploited.
All allegations of abuse of position of trust should be treated confidentially until the case is proven. Remember either party may be innocent.
There is no simple definition of a vulnerable adult, they may be the elderly, disabled, mentally ill or have learning difficulties, but again the position of trust and the vulnerability of adults must not be abused. The principles and guidance apply irrespective of sexual orientation: neither homosexual nor heterosexual relationships are acceptable in a position of trust.
2.8 Relationship of Trust
A relationship of trust can be described as one in which one party is in a position of power or influence over another by virtue of their position. A genuine relationship can start between two people within a relationship of trust but the relationship of trust must end before any sexual relationship develops.
2.9 Abuse of Trust and Sexual or Other Abuse
Any sexual activity, which is not freely consenting, is criminal. The sexual activity covered by abuse of trust may be ostensibly consensual, but rendered unacceptable because of the relative power positions of the parties concerned.
Other forms of abuse of trust may be physical or psychological i.e. singling out a junior by leaving that particular junior to struggle when putting equipment away, or leaving a disabled archer to wait on the field.
2.10 Code on Abuse of Trust
Any behaviour which may allow a sexual relationship to develop between the person in a position of trust and the individual or individuals in their care must be avoided.
Any sexual relationship within a relationship of trust is unacceptable so long as the relationship of trust continues.
All those in a club/organisation have a duty to raise concerns about behaviour by coaches, staff, volunteers, managers and others, which may be harmful to those in their care, without prejudice to their own position.
3.0 Recruitment of Staff and Volunteers
A sound recruitment policy should adequately protect both children and adults. Abusers have great difficulty operating in a well-run organisation with good quality management and training. All reasonable precautions will be taken to ensure unsuitable people are prevented from working with children and vulnerable adults. The following procedures will be followed when recruiting new staff or volunteers who will become involved with working or interacting with children.
Any adult helper must be a current serving members of the club and fully approved by the club committee.
Any new adult member or helper who will be involved with children or vulnerable adults as a volunteer must complete an application process and consent to a CRB check being carried out.
Ensure they understand and agree to comply with the GNAS Protection of Children and Vulnerable
3.1 Adults Policy.
The Standard Disclosure is for the type of work, which involves regularly caring for, supervising, training or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults. This level of Disclosure contains details of all convictions held on the police national computer including current and ‘spent’ convictions as well as details of any cautions, reprimands or final warnings. The Disclosure will indicate whether information is held on government department lists, held by the Department of Health and Department for Education and Skills List 99, of those who are disqualified from working with children. Disclosure also includes information held by the Department of Health of those considered unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults.
3.2 Obtaining Criminal Record Checks
A new volunteer who is likely to have significant access to children and vulnerable adults will signify their consent to criminal record checks being made.
The Club Child Protection Officer should complete the CRB form covering evidence of identity, which must be signed as verification that original identity documents have been seen and checked.
The volunteer will complete the remainder of the form, it will then be sent to the GNAS who will counter-sign the form and forward it to the relevant agency.
The relevant agency will send a Disclosure Certificate to the applicant, with a copy to the GNAS Child Protection Officer. Standard Disclosure usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to process.
Should the applicant consider any information contained in their Disclosure is incorrect, they should contact the agency dispute line immediately.
The GNAS Child Protection Officer would then contact the Child Protection Officer at the Club/ Organisation and state whether or not the Certificate contains any relevant offences.
A criminal record should only be taken into account when the conviction is relevant to the welfare of children and young adults and should not automatically be a bar to a voluntary position. Information supplied on these forms is dealt with in the strictest confidence.
In compliance with the CRB Code of Practice, the GNAS would only retain Disclosure documentation for a maximum period of 6 months after which time the information would be permanently destroyed i.e. shredded.
3.3 Identity Checks
As part of the criminal record check application form, identity checks have been made by the club Child Protection Officer, who must have sighted at least two of the following original forms of identification (ideally one of which should have a photograph)
- Driving licence
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- National insurance number (taken from P60 or P45)
- Utility bill
- Mortgage or insurance statement
- Rent book
Child abuse is a term used to describe ways in which children or young people are harmed, usually by adults and often people they know or trust. Sometimes young persons i.e. teenagers may be the perpetrators.
Children and vulnerable adults may be abused within their family, at school and sometimes in the sporting environment.
It is generally acknowledged that there are four main forms of abuse:
4.1 Physical Abuse
When an adult:
Physically hurts or injures children (e.g. by hitting, shaking, squeezing, biting or burning).
Giving alcohol, inappropriate drugs or poison to a child.
Attempts to suffocate or drown a child.
Uses excessive and inappropriate training, which exceeds the capacity of the child’s maturation.
4.2 Sexual Abuse
Children may be sexually abused by adults or young people (male and female) who use children to satisfy their own sexual needs or where children are encouraged or forced to observe or participate in any form of sexual activity. These could include the following:
Full sexual intercourse, fondling, masturbation or oral sex.
Taking or possessing inappropriate photographic materials involving children.
Showing children pornographic material (books, videos, pictures).
It should be noted that in archery where physical contact is made i.e. in stretching exercises or supporting, sexual abuse may go unnoticed.
4.3 Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve the following:
Constantly shouted at, threatened, taunted, humiliated or ignored.
Constantly criticised and bullied
An unrealistic pressure to perform consistently to high expectations is placed upon the child by the coach, officials or parents.
Pressure not to succeed i.e. constantly demeaning the efforts of the child, young person or vulnerable adult.
Neglect occurs where adults fail to meet a child’s basic needs like the need for food or warm clothing, or where adults fail or refuse to give children love, affection and attention. Children might also be constantly left alone or unsupervised.
Club staff will endeavour to ensure that children are safe, by not exposing them to undue cold or to unnecessary risk of injury.
4.5 Suspected Abuse
The following signs may alert us to the fact that a child might be being abused.
The child says that he or she is being abused, or another person says they believe (or actually know) that abuse is occurring.
Unexplained bruising or injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent.
The behaviour of the child changes, either over time or quite suddenly, and he or she becomes quiet and withdrawn, or alternatively becomes aggressive.
The child appears not to trust adults e.g. a parent or coach with whom he or she would have expected to have, or once had a close relationship, and does not seem to be able to make friends.
Inappropriate sexual awareness or language or engaging in sexually explicit behaviour.
The child is prevented from socialising with other children.
The child has difficulty in making friends.
He or she becomes increasingly neglected-looking in appearance, or loses or puts on weight for no apparent reason.
The child becomes increasingly dirty or unkempt.
This list is not exhaustive and the presence of one or more of these symptoms is not proof that abuse has taken place, but it should raise concerns.
It is not the responsibility of the club, coach or officials to decide that the child is being abused but it is our responsibility to act upon such concerns.
5.0 RESPONDING TO DISCLOSURE, SUSPICIONS AND ALLEGATIONS
False allegations of abuse do occur. However, they are rare, and if a child indicates that they have been abused, or we obtain information, which gives us concern, we will react immediately.
5.1 Action to Take Immediately
Ensure the child is safe.
Ensure the child receives medical attention (where required).
Ensure the child is aware of who they can talk to about their concerns if they wish.
5.2 Responding to Disclosure
When receiving information concerning disclosure we will:
React calmly so as not to frighten the child.
Tell the child they are not to blame and they were right to tell.
Take what the child says seriously, recognising the difficulties inherent in interpreting what a child who has a speech disability and/or differences in language says.
Keep questions to the absolute minimum to ensure a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said.
Do not ask closed questions which require a yes or no answer.
Reassure the child but do not make promises of confidentiality, which might not be feasible in the light of subsequent developments.
Make a full record of what had been said, heard and/or seen as soon possible. This record will be referred to during further investigations and detailed questioning should be left to the qualified investigator. (A sample Incident Report Form is attached in Appendix E).
5.3 Actions to Avoid
The person receiving the disclosure should not:
Allow their shock to show
Ask closed questions requiring yes or no answers
Probe for more information than is offered
Speculate or make assumptions
Make negative comments about the alleged abuser
Approach the alleged abuser
Make promises or agree to keep secrets
5.4 Designated Officer
The club has identified a designated person to handle child protection issues. The designated person will receive advice from GNAS with regard to appropriate training and information. Currently this is MR TONY READ
A second adult member has be appointed who can deal with child protection issues in the absence of the designated officer. The designated officer must ensure this “deputy” is kept up to date with current child protection issues and any ongoing poor practice or abuse cases. This person must also undergo criminal record checks. Currently this is Miss DEBBIE PAGE
5.5 Action to take if Abuse/Neglect is suspected outside or within the club
On receipt of an allegation or following concerns regarding abuse or neglect, immediately contact local social services department, or go directly to the police if out of hours.
The Incident Report Form contains details of information required by the Social Services Department and police. Ensure you only ask the child questions, which clarify the information required on the Incident Report Form and record the contact details of the person you speak to.
Follow up any conversations with the Social Services or the Police with confidential written confirmation within 24 hours of reporting the allegation or concern.
The parents should be contacted as soon as possible (unless they are the alleged perpetrators). The social services department would most likely do this and would advise accordingly.
Ensure the information recorded is as accurate as possible.
A confidential full written report is to be sent to the GNAS Child Protection Officer.
If the allegation is against a coach/official/volunteer, that person will be immediately suspended. The GNAS Disciplinary Regulations would then come into force.
In accordance with the Club Constitution the Club Committee/Chairman is to be made aware of the allegation and action taken. Confidentiality should be maintained on a strictly “need to know” basis and any relevant documentation stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people False allegations are of great concern not only because of the personal distress caused to the individuals but also their families.
5.6 Sharing Concerns with Parents
There is always a commitment to work in partnership with parents where there are concerns about their children. If you have noticed a dramatic change in a child’s behaviour, first talk to the parents. There may have been a bereavement or similar occurrence, which may cause the child to be unhappy.
5.7 When it is Not Appropriate to Share Concerns with Parents,
Where a parent may be responsible for the abuse or not able to respond to the situation properly, the allegation or incident of abuse must be reported to the person in charge as soon as possible and recorded.
Advice and guidance should be sought from the local social services officer with respect to consulting parents.
5.8 Allegations of Previous Abuse
Allegations of abuse by a coach/staff/volunteer may be made some time after the event. Where such a belated allegation is made, the GNAS Child Protection Officer should be informed.
5.9 Types of Investigation
There are three types of investigation where a complaint of abuse has been made:
Disciplinary or misconduct
Civil proceedings may also be initiated by the person/family of the person who alleged the abuse.
The GNAS would be informed of the results of the police and social services investigation.
Only tell others if it will help to protect the child. Remember the accusation may be a misunderstanding or a fallacious allegation, which may cause great harm to the accused, as he/she may be innocent of the allegation. Confidentiality must be maintained until a case has been proven.
Information should be handled and disseminated by the following people only:
The Child Protection Officer/Deputy
The parents of the person who is alleged to have been abused
The person making the allegation
GNAS Child Protection Officer
The alleged abuser (and parents if the alleged abuser is a child)*
* Seek social services advice on who should approach alleged abuser
5.11 Records and Information
Information should be stored in a secure place with limited access to designated people, in line with the Data Protection Act 1998.
All information passed to the Social Services or the Police must be as accurate and helpful as possible and it will be useful if a detailed record can be obtained:
See Child Protection Incident Form
6.1 Forms of Bullying
The Club feels strongly that every effort must be made to eradicate bullying in all its forms. It is therefore the clubs policy to accept a zero tolerance on bullying. On full investigation of an accusation of bullying the bully may be excluded from the club
Bullying can be difficult to define and can take many forms, which can be categorised as:
Physical – Hitting, kicking, theft
Verbal – Homophobic/racist remarks, threats, name calling
Emotional – Isolating individuals from activities
Bullying may also include:
Other forms of violence.
Sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing.
Tormenting, ridiculing, humiliating.
Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures.
Unwanted physical contact or abusive or offensive comments possibly of a sexual nature.
6.2 Strategies to Discourage Bullying – The club will:
The club strives to create an open environment and provide adequate supervision at all times.
Encourage children to share any concerns with the responsible adults.
Take all signs of bullying seriously.
6.3 Supporting the Victim of Bullying
Reassure the victim that you will help them.
Explain that you may have to inform someone in authority.
Keep accurate records of what happened together with names of those involved and any action taken.
Report suspicions to the person in charge.
6.4 Confronting the Bully (ies)
Seek an apology from the bully (ies) to the victim.
Insist that any “borrowed” items are returned to the victim.
If the bully is a young person, inform the parents.
Inform the victim’s parents.
After thorough investigation impose sanctions as appropriate.
Report and record all action taken.
Provide support for the victim and his/her coach.
7.0 PHOTOGRAPHS AND IMAGES OF CHILDREN
Photographs can be used as a means of identifying children when they are accompanied with personal information, for example, – this is X who is a member of X Archery Club and who likes “Westlife”. This information can make a child vulnerable to an individual who may wish to start to “groom” that child for abuse.
Secondly the content of the photograph can be used or adapted for inappropriate use, regardless of how much or how little clothing the child is wearing. If the child fits a certain description then the image of that child can be adapted to suit. There is evidence of this adapted material finding its way onto child pornography sites.
The club when publishing images will adhere to the following:
Avoid using the first name and surname of individuals in a photograph.
If the archer is named, avoid using their photographs.
If a photograph is used, avoid naming the archer.
Obtain permission from the junior, together with the parent’s permission to use an image of a child.
7.1 Professional Photographers/Filming/Video Operators
Anyone wishing to record at a Competition/Event should seek accreditation with the club by producing their professional identification for the details to be recorded. Ideally they should request this at least five working days before the event.
7.2 Students or Amateur Photographers/Film/Video Operators
A student or amateur wishing to record/film at a Competition/Event should seek accreditation with the club by first producing their student club or registration card and a letter from their club/educational establishment outlining their motive for attending the event.
7.3 All Other Spectators
All other spectators wishing to use photographic/digital/film/video equipment with a telescopic or zoom lens or any other recording should register their intent and seek permission from the club.
7.4 Accreditation Procedure
A system should be adopted whereby a record should be made of the individual’s name, address and club/organisation. Professionals should register prior to the event and their identification details should be checked with the issuing authority prior to the event. On registering, the club should consider issuing an ID label on the day, which can serve to highlight those who have accreditation but must ensure that the identifying label is changed to prevent unofficial replication.
7.5 Public Information
The specific details concerning photographic/digital/video and filming equipment should, where possible, be published prominently in event programmes and must be announce prior to the start of the event.
The recommended wording is:
“In line with the recommendation in the GNAS Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy, GOSPORT BOWMEN request that any person wishing to engage in any video, zoom or close range photography should register their details with staff at the spectator entry desk before carrying out any such photography. The club reserves the right of entry to this event and reserves the right to decline entry to any person unable to meet or abide by the clubs conditions.”
7.6 Use of Photographic and Filming Equipment as a Coaching Aid
The above guidelines are not intended to prevent coaches from using photographic/digital/ filming and any other recording equipment as a valuable aid to coaching. However the guidelines below should be implemented to safeguard against inappropriate practice.
Ensure that the archers and their parents are aware of the purpose of the filming as a coaching aid.
Ensure that two responsible adults are present to ensure that archers are protected against inappropriate filming.
Care should be taken to securely store the filming materials to avoid inappropriate usage.